[WG: I18N & L10N] Automagic translations (was: How long does it take to translate Sakai CLE)

Berg, Alan A.M.Berg at uva.nl
Tue Jul 2 23:55:16 PDT 2013

Hi all,

Some time back (June 2010) Jean-Francois reviewed a simple script that I wrote that used Google translate or Yahoo to update property files (as a start point). Jean Francois's conclusion at the time was that there were too many subtle and unsubtle mistakes in the translations. I was wondering if the quality of the translations has improved over time, if so job well done.


Perhaps a field trial?


Alan Berg

Innovation working group
On the use of ICT in Education & Research
University of Amsterdam
From: i18n-bounces at collab.sakaiproject.org [i18n-bounces at collab.sakaiproject.org] on behalf of Steve Swinsburg [steve.swinsburg at gmail.com]
Sent: 03 July 2013 01:27
To: Zhen Qian
Cc: i18n at collab.sakaiproject.org
Subject: Re: [WG: I18N & L10N] Automagic translations (was: How long does it take to translate Sakai CLE)

Thanks Zhen. I'm using Bing Translate for this, since IIRC google now charge for their one. Strange it's not the other way around ;)

Sent from my iPhone

On 03/07/2013, at 1:32, Zhen Qian <zqian at umich.edu<mailto:zqian at umich.edu>> wrote:

I will second here. The automatic translation could provide a base and save a lot of FTEs for the community.

The precision rate is getting much better nowadays in macine translation. Besides Windows products, Bing Translate has been used in places like Facebook - with the default "Community and machine translators" setting, users can submit their own translations and override the machine result if they finds problem. Twitter is joining the group now: (http://tinyurl.com/m7fkopv).

I guess we can follow the same route.

- Zhen

On Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 9:13 AM, Steve Swinsburg <steve.swinsburg at gmail.com<mailto:steve.swinsburg at gmail.com>> wrote:
I think people would much rather just adjust one or two words than have to start from scratch.

I actually spot checked the French translation that was provided to me from a native speaker against my automated one and out of 15 sentences, only one word was different.


On Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 10:47 PM, Jean-Francois Leveque <jean-francois.leveque at upmc.fr<mailto:jean-francois.leveque at upmc.fr>> wrote:
My experience tells me that having a bad translation is worse than having no translation. YMMV.

My advice would be to have someone who knows well both the language translated into and the portlets check the translation.


On 28/06/2013 16:04, Steve Swinsburg wrote:
I just gave the Autoi18n app a spin and it still works, hurrah! I'm
actually going to use it to do a bunch of translations for a few
portlets of mine.


On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 11:10 PM, Steve Swinsburg
<steve.swinsburg at gmail.com<mailto:steve.swinsburg at gmail.com> <mailto:steve.swinsburg at gmail.com<mailto:steve.swinsburg at gmail.com>>> wrote:

    It was just a quick and dirty proof of concept. It doesn't identify
    the ones that need translation but it would be daily simple to scan
    the source and find them. Like I said, needs some work :) Any
    automation here would be a good start IMO.

    Sent from my iPad

    On 26/06/2013, at 21:49, Neal Caidin <neal.caidin at apereo.org<mailto:neal.caidin at apereo.org>
    <mailto:neal.caidin at apereo.org<mailto:neal.caidin at apereo.org>>> wrote:

    Cool! Does your program have, or is there a reasonable way, to
    identify all the files which need translating in Sakai? Or does
    one have to pass the properties files for translating one-by-one?

    Might be a dumb question, I realize, but just curious.


    On Jun 26, 2013, at 7:30 AM, Steve Swinsburg
    <steve.swinsburg at gmail.com<mailto:steve.swinsburg at gmail.com> <mailto:steve.swinsburg at gmail.com<mailto:steve.swinsburg at gmail.com>>> wrote:

    I wrote a little utility that automatically translates a
    properties file into various languages.


    It's been neglected for a while and I think the API it uses has
    been deprecated (oops) but it could easily be cleaned up. This
    would give a legup to anyone starting on translations. I realise
    that no amount of automation can replace a native speaker, but at
    least you don't need to start from zero.

    I am surprised it takes 6 months of time. That signals to me that
    we need a far better i18n strategy. Centralised properties files,
    reducing the number of duplicates, whatever it takes. A few
    months of code to save hundreds of thousands of
    dollars/euros/pounds/yen is a wise investment IMO.


    On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 9:15 PM, Diego del Blanco Orobitg
    <diego.delblanco.sakai at gmail.com<mailto:diego.delblanco.sakai at gmail.com>
    <mailto:diego.delblanco.sakai at gmail.com<mailto:diego.delblanco.sakai at gmail.com>>> wrote:

        As a first stimation, without enter in real measurement we
        calculated some time ago about three months, 2 people working
        on it. Translating and obviously testing the sense of the
        translations and the correct behaviour of each screen.  For
        sakai real trained people that knows code and functionality
        maybe a little less.

        Diego del Blanco

        El 26/06/2013 12:17, "Jean-Francois Leveque"
        <jean-francois.leveque at upmc.fr<mailto:jean-francois.leveque at upmc.fr>
        <mailto:jean-francois.leveque at upmc.fr<mailto:jean-francois.leveque at upmc.fr>>> escribió:

            Hi fellow translators,

            While I've been involved in translating, I haven't been
            involved in
            measuring the amount of effort of the group doing the
            French translation.

            Do you have numbers that could help potential translators
            who want to
            plan a translation?



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